“As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit,” admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.

“Birth Control is not advanced as a panacea by which past and present evils of dysgenic breeding can be magically eliminated. Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupidly cruel sentimentalism.

“But to prevent the repetition, to effect the salvation of the generations of the future–nay of the generations of today–our greatest need is first of all the ability to face the situation without flinching, and to cooperate in the formation of a code of sexual ethics based upon a thorough biological and psychological understanding of human nature; and then to answer the questions and the needs of the people with all the intelligence and honesty at our command. If we can summon the bravery to do this, we shall best be serving the true interests of Eugenics, because our work will then have a practical and pragmatic value.”

 

(Margaret Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” Oct 1921)

Margaret Sanger on Birth Control and Eugenics

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In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK-Memorial

 

Few Americans have impacted our nation to the degree like that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This holiday is always an important one, especially in light of the recent, racial turmoil over several police shootings between 2014-2015. For me, it’s both a sober day and a hopeful one. One never knows how much good is possible until making the effort. There are other instances where very little headway is made at all. In the end, I live in the space between both poles. It is a place of tension. The same goes for my fellow Americans and the rest of humanity throughout the globe. Thank you, Lord, for Dr. King, Jr. and the gift of his life.

“Religion in our time has been captured by the tourist mindset…, a visit to an attractive site to be made when we have adequate leisure. For some it is a weekly jaunt to church; for others, occasional visits to special services. Some, with a bent for religious entertainment and sacred diversion, plan their lives around special events like retreats, rallies, and conferences. We go to see a new personality, to hear a new truth, to get a new experience and so somehow expand our otherwise humdrum lives. The religious life is defined as the newest and the latest: Zen, faith healing, human potential, parapsychology, successful living, choreography in the chancel, Armageddon. We’ll try anything — until something else comes along.”

 

(Eugene H. Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p 16, 2000)

 

The Tourist Mindset of Today’s Religion